Welcome to this year’s Christmas book fair where I will be sharing the books of all the authors on the shelves of the Cafe and Bookstore with their most recent review in the last six months. I will be selecting authors at random so that there is something for everyone in the post.
The first books that would make wonderful gifts for poetry lovers the fantasy novels of Fiona Tarr and the featured book is her latest book released in early October Relic Seeker (The Priestess Chronicles Book 2)
About the Book
A young time-travelling, magic wielding Priestess and her gifted friends must retrieve an ancient Goth relic before it is used to change history.
This isn’t the Priestess Ariela’s first trip through time, but now she has friends along for the journey. When she arrives, she is alone, dressed as a servant, yet surrounded by opulence. Her guide and mentor, the Angel Raziel hasn’t given her a clue about her quest and she quickly finds herself serving a deadly enemy from her past.
Ariela realises that keeping her magical powers secret isn’t going to be easy. She is being hunted by a powerful magic wielder who is determined to destroy her and change history forever. In the midst of a violent and intense battle to protect the ancient relic Brísingamen, once worn by the goddess Freya, Ariela calls upon the strengths and powers of her friends and a group of strangers.
As Ariela gathers her allies, she realises her powerful adversary isn’t the only threat. She has been betrayed by someone she thought she could trust.
Relic Seeker is book 2 in a new series by Fiona Tarr. It is fast paced and offers a great read for young adults or adults looking for a fun, quick, weekend read. If magic and time travel spark your interest, then you’ll enjoy this fun, fantasy adventure.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Originally posted on Tales to Tide You Over
In keeping with the first book in The Priestess Chronicles, Relic Seeker has Ariela thrown into a new time and place to uncover her mission. She left with friends, but arrives alone, something that bothers her friends just as much when they discover her absence. Ariela is a servant on the Senator’s estate while the other two find themselves suspected gods, or at least the answer to prayers, in a nearby Goth village. This separation allows our heroes to tackle the problem from both ends as they struggle to figure out who or what they were sent to stop.
This is another adventure where Ariela and her friends must adapt while seeking clues to show why the angel brought them to this place. The Romans and Goths have a tentative alliance built on the need for mercenary troops and a willingness to accept Roman coin. An insidious rumor, whether true or false, is enough to undermine the peace as magic and rational beliefs clash.
Toss in the emperor’s half-mad son, powerful relics from lost cultures, and a villain with a mission cutting a little too close to the heart of our heroes, and this book offers a more nuanced conflict. The view of the Romans, possibly a reflection of when they land, supports this additional complexity. Hints indicate it is the rule of Constantine who became a Christian rather than keeping to the Roman gods.
The separation of main characters allows us to discover the good in Romans and Goths alike, and learn something about both cultures. Our heroes make friends among the villagers and Roman staff who influence the course of their mission as well as expanding the characters we, as readers, come to care about.
The omniscient, rolling point of view (POV) had a few small hiccups where information is withheld to create what I consider false tension, but for the most part, the POV worked well and I never lost track of who held center stage. It allows the reader to follow both sides of a complex situation without a lot of explanation required as it would be if non-POV characters had to reveal what they’ve been doing off screen.
The spare, straightforward writing style, plus a lighter hand with the less appealing aspects of both Roman and Goth life, makes this novel a solid, fun read. It managed to draw my sympathies and endear me to characters new and old as they faced challenges to touch their hearts and minds. Relic Seeker raises interesting questions about the lines where cultures and people meet while exploring human struggles.
I enjoyed the story and spending time with familiar characters along with new ones. The series could easily have fallen into a pattern. Instead, it draws on the characters’ histories, along with changing times, to offer a brand new conflict and challenge our band of time-traveling heroes. It’ll be interesting to see how this is accomplished in the next book.
Also by Fiona Tarr
Read all the reviews and buy the books including a box set: Amazon US
and : Amazon UK
Kobo, B&N, Apple : https://books2read.com/u/bM92aB
Read more reviews and follow Fiona: Goodreads
Connect to Fiona via her website : A Time 2 Write
The next author with books for children, YA and adults this Christmas is Bette A. Stevens and her most recent release which is a poetry collection My Maine.
About My Maine
Inspired by The Pine Tree State—Maine’s diverse landscape, natural beauty, rural communities, and independent people—the author’s 150 haiku poems, along with her photographs, reflect the Maine she knows and loves. Bette A. Stevens’s imagery draws the reader into her world of wonder and delight. My Maine takes readers on a poetic journey through Maine’s four seasons. Whether you’re a native Mainer or from away, Stevens’s short story poems and photographs will resonate.
The collection opens with a haiku tribute, “Maine Pines and People.” The journey continues with the rejuvenating spirit of “Spring Awakenings” and “Summer Songs”; then on to more of the magic and majesty of the places and people of Maine in “Autumn Leaves” and “Winter Tales.” This is a poetry collection to be slowly savored, made even more delectable with the author’s original drawings and photographs. In addition to its poems and photographs, My Maine includes state symbols and interesting facts about The Pine Tree State.
One of the recent reviews for the collection
A wonderful collection of Haiku. The author obviously loves the state of Maine in all its seasons. I enjoyed this little book enough to be inspired to put my review into a Haiku too
Awesome, alluring pictures
A wonderful book!
I’ve read all of Bette Stevens’ books and admire this writer greatly. My Maine gets a solid 5 stars from me.
Also by Bette A. Stevens
Read all the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US
and Amazon UK: Amazon UK
Read more reviews and follow Bette: Goodreads
Connect to Bette A. Stevens via her blog: 4 Writers and Readers
And another author who writes for children and adults Pamela S.Wight and her featured book today is Molly Finds her Purr Illustrated by Shelley A. Steinle, and with an eye on perfect book gifts for the younger members of the family, I am sure that Molly will be a wonderful addition to any child’s stocking.
About the Book
Molly the Cat is lonely. No matter how hard she tries to make friends with birds, they all fly away from her. Even other cats don’t seem to like her. Friendless, Molly has no purr. But a wisecracking squirrel opens Molly’s eyes to a world in which friendship comes in all sizes, shapes, and species.
This delightful tale with dazzling illustrations sparkles with sweet insight that makes all readers purr with pleasure at the end.
One of the recent reviews for the book
I bought this book for my youngest granddaughter’s third birthday. I read it before giving it to her and thoroughly enjoyed it. Molly, the feral cat, was searching for friendship and her purr. She ran into animals who rejected her, but she kept looking until she found her circle. This has a wonderful message of friendship and finding that inner purr or what I thought of as the inner spark. The illustrations are charming and brought the characters to life. Locating the dragonfly on each page added to my delight. Adults will enjoy reading this to their children almost as much as I know the children will love having it read to them–or reading it themselves. I’m looking forward to sharing this with my granddaughter. I highly recommend this well-written and beautifully illustrated book.
Also by Pamela S. Wight
Read the reviews and buy all the books: Amazon US
And on Amazon UK: Amazon UK
Read more reviews and follow Pamela : Goodreads
Connect to Pamela via her website: Rough Wighting
Now for mystery lovers, the books of Mary Adler and her featured book today is her wartime mystery Shadowed by Death… An Oliver Wright WW II Mystery Book 2.
About Shadowed by Death
San Francisco, 1944. Sophia Nirenska, a Polish resistance fighter who survived the Warsaw ghetto uprising, finds safety in California until someone tries to kill her. She insists political enemies want to silence her, but homicide detective Oliver Wright, on medical leave from the Marines, believes the motive is more personal. He and his German shepherd, Harley, try to protect Sophia, but she insists on doing things her own way—a dangerous decision.
Oliver guards Sophia as they travel from an Italian cafe in Richmond to communist chicken farmers in Petaluma where her impetuous actions put them both in mortal danger.
When Oliver rescues a girl and her dog who are running for their lives, he discovers the dark secret at the heart of the threat to Sophia, a secret with its roots in Poland. When he does, he is forced to choose between enforcing the law as he knows it and jeopardizing Sophia or accepting a rougher kind of justice.
Shadowed by Death accurately portrays the fears and troubles of the communities of northern California as they bear the burdens of World War II and celebrate the gift of finding family among strangers.
A recent review for the book
After reading the first book of this series, I decided to read the second book to find out what happened to the protagonists of the first book. This second book did not disappoint.
I remembered Oliver from the first story and his dog Harley. For Oliver, the war was over but for the Jewish Poles who escaped the war to find refuge in the United States of America, the war was still raging.
Sophia Nirenska, a Polish refugee and one of the underground advocates was very outspoken about the evils perpetrated by Russia and Hitler’s Germany. Her advocacy put her life in danger. Oliver agreed to protect her. Sophia, however, would always want to do things her way and that put her and Oliver in danger.
In the end, they found out who was the mole amongst them, the one thwarting their plans and causing the deaths of a good number of the underground fighters.
This is a great second world war story. Very interesting and well written. I enjoyed reading it.
Also by Mary Adler
Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US
And: Amazon UK
Read more reviews and follow Mary: Goodreads
Connect to Mary via her website: Mary Adler Writes
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will be leaving with some books under your arm.. thanks Sally.